From Beyond (1986)

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Based on the very short story by H.P. Lovecraft this movie delves deep into a twisted idea. A brilliant scientist discovers a way to feel ultimate pleasure and have unsurpassed knowledge. He develops a machine that opens a doorway to another dimension that he learns how to control and use for his own purposes. While in this dimension the pineal gland in humans is somehow affected and people can be easily seduced. The scientist's assistant really gets fucked in this movie. He has all of his hair removed by some kind of giant worm with teeth and he later ends up in a hospital eating human brains out of storage containers! Very cool to see! Not a typical film for the horror/sci-fi genre and I think everyone should see this at least once.  – Jeffrey Kusbel



Guinea Pig: Mermaid In A Manhole (1988)

Directed by Hideshi Hino

You’ve got to hand it to the Japanese-not only did they built an awesome Fascist Empire in WW2, but even to this day they are extreme, making some of the most sick films imaginable.  It is amazing how you hear American moralists ranting about how “extreme Hollywood is”, Hollywood films are nothing compared to these Japanese films.

In fact, this was probably one of the few films to be banned in Japan, due to that idiot Charlie Sheen getting hold of one of the videos in this series (Captured Co-Ed) & sending it to the CIA claiming it was snuff!  What a moron! On to the film itself however.   I have often myself thought that to really make art, you must be mentally disturbed-this film perhaps supports my theory, as it is based around the final days of a Japanese painter who you soon discover isn’t all there.  His wife having left him a month before, each day he goes to his “secret place”, a sewer full of death & decay.  There amongst the polluted water, he draws the decay, such as a dead fetus.  When he finds his dead guinea pig Chibi  (yeah, a bit of a in-joke perhaps?) he first cries over it, rubbing it on his face-then drops it abruptly, exclaiming - “I am a painter, I must paint Chibi!”  He then hears a splashing, & discovers a beautiful mermaid laying amongst the filth.

He recalls a different time in his life when a river ran in the place of the sewer, full of things such as flowers, dragonflies & friends (“all gone now” he thinks).  He saw a mermaid there once, & asks her if she is the same one. She agrees, explaining that she was trapped in the sewer when the river dried up. He begins to paint her, coming there everyday just to be with her.  He then discovers that she has an infection on her stomach.  He takes her home placing her in a bathtub, & attempts to stop the infection.  However, the mermaid tells him, “I would rather have you paint me.” He begins to paint her in various stages of decay.  The infection gets worse, causing huge, pus filled sores which begin to spread all over her body.  She tells him that “within my body is pus of seven colors” & implores him to slash her infectious wounds with a razor, in order to collect the pus to further enhance the painting.  Her decay becomes worse however-with the sores spreading more & more.  Then worms begin to burst from her sores, to which he frantically picks out of her & puts into a pan.

The scenes of gore & decay in this film are extreme. Despite it being shot on an obviously very low budget (I believe it is even done on video, as opposed to higher-quality film), the gore was extremely well done-it really looks like a mermaid, & it really looks like she is infected. The gore is so extreme that it can really be a gross out.  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this film is that while it’s obviously made for a gore factor, it brings up some interesting points that I mentioned earlier-with art comes sickness.  Is the painter really seeing a mermaid, or something else?  The ending is one of the most killer as well, & really keeps you guessing.  Highly recommended!



Halloween (1978)

Directed by John Carpenter

This is probably close to my fave horror movie of all-time! The creepy music made by director John Carpenter is the scariest ever, I sought out and ordered the soundtrack to this movie on CD I loved it so much! It starts off with a young boy named Michael Meyers who brutally slaughters his sister on Halloween night.

He then spends his next 15 years in a mental hospital biding his time. He escapes the day before Halloween 15 years later and returns to the small, quiet town of Haddonfield to continue his gory and murderous rampage on his mission to kill his other sister Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis). You get to see a dog killed, a young man stabbed to the wall with his feet off the ground, a guy boiled and lots more fun. The whole time he is hunting Laurie his old doctor for the last 15 years is hunting Michael Meyers in attempt to not only stop him but to kill him, it is the only way. The masked cold-blooded killer after leaving a trail of dead bodies finds Laurie and attacks her. She fends him off stabbing him with a sewing needle, coat hanger and ect., he keeps coming and cuts her and just before he is about to kill her his old doctor Loomis (whose acting throughout the movie is excellent a key ingredient, also  as a trivia side note: his last name was used as one of the last names of the killers in Scream) shows up and shoots Michael repeatedly and he falls backwards out of a balcony house window.

But when Dr. Loomis looks out the window a moment later he is gone. The blood-chilling music comes in and credits roll but the ending of this movie will serve as the beginning of the Halloween II which I suggest you to rent both at the same and make a day long horror fest like I have done many a time. Beyond classic!!  – Dale Roy




Halloween II (1981)

Directed by Rick Rosenthal

Number two starts off the exact second the first movie ended (Halloween one was reviewed last issue by the way) which rules! Halloween I ended with the killer Michael Myers (Who had been locked away in a mental institution for 15 years for the murder of his sister) on the verge of killing his (2nd) sister Laurie. When Michaels doctor for all those years shoots Michael repeatedly until he falls out the window. But when Dr. Loomis looks outside for the body it is gone.

Dr. Loomis yells I shot him, call the police! and a neighbor responds "Is this some kind of joke, I'm sick to death with trick or treats tonight". Dr. Loomis gravely says "You have no idea what death is!". Cue the scariest horror movie music ever (the movies theme music) and a great atmosphere and excellent chilling opener to the movie. They rush Laurie to the hospital to tend to her bruises and gapping slit in her arm courtesy of Michael Myers. Michael makes his way to the hospital to finish the job leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. By method of a claw hammer to the head, boiling of nicely formed nurse, needle in the eye ect? In the hospital Laurie discovers it is Michael Myers after her and it is her blood brother (she was adopted and her history hidden by the parents).

A final showdown ensues involving Loomis, Laurie, a nurse and a cop. I wont give away the ending but its not sweet for Michael or Dr. Loomis. Good finish. Fucking great movie, I left out a lot details on purpose for space and so you will have to watch to see it all. Rent or buy Halloween I & II and watch them back to back they are by far most effective this way!  – Dale Roy




Ice From The Sun (1999)

Directed by Eric Stanze

Here’s some arty experimental horror (?) film. I can’t get into this too much it’s visual is something close to an MTV video, actually NIN comes to mind. The story is about an evil wizard named Ambolin who created another world during the Dark Ages, one totally made of ice. Ambolin and his apprentice ruled this world as though they were gods even killing humans they stole from earth. The apprentice (The Presence) would eventually grow more powerful with each human he killed and soon took over the dimension of ice. The Presence grows so powerful and evil that both Angels and Devils join forces to take down The Presence. Eventually the angels and devils select Alison, a human to help them bring down The Presence. To do this Alison must somehow become one of the six chosen every few years by The Presence as he performs upon them his severe physical and mental torture. Once all six are dead The Presence traps their souls in ice and makes them his slaves.

The story itself  is kinda goofy, I think. Angels, devils, wizards, is this an Anime? Almost clocking in at two hours long this is a rough one to sit through, my finger on the remote hitting the fast forward button continuously. Folks, this is some boring stuff! If Opencity hadn’t sent me a synopsis of the film I would have no idea what the fuck is going on, I still don’t know even with it. This film would of worked much better without the artistic camera angles, lighting, slick editing etc etc. Brother, the soundtrack blows. Really cheesy alternative hard rock. I did find some bright spots though, like the acting which believe it or not is for the most part above average. I also happen to find a couple of cool scenes that are quite sick. A women chained to a pickup truck and dragged a couple hundred feet, you get to see her flesh torn and burned from the gravel then the driver throws rock salt all over her. Pretty cruel, I like it!  The gore effects in the scene in which a woman is strapped to a table and cut open is really nice too. Like the worms pulled from her belly, ick!  Director Eric Satnze is a talented director and I give him a lot of credit for a great job on such a limited budget. You can tell a lot of time and effort went into this film. Anyhow, Ice from the Sun is a bit too modern for my taste.  - Bill Connolly



Junk (2000)

Directed by Clive Barker

I’ve heard the hype on this one, maybe you have too? A Zombie flick that ranks amongst the classics (you know Fulci’s Zombie, Re-Animator, Dawn of the Dead). I had to check this one out for sure and make up my own mind. Junk opens up with a doctor and his female assistant overviewing a nude Japanese girl, seemly deceased in a laboratory of some sort. Now, this doctor is a real nut job who has come up with some kind of re-animating fluid, hell it’s even green like that shit from Re-Animator. He injects the corpse with the green shit and blam! You got a naked Gook zombie bitch running around munching on the good doctor and his assistant. We next switch to a bunch of thieves about to do a hit on a jewelry store. Three dudes in masks and a woman getaway driver. Well, things go smoothly until one of the bank employees stabs one of the robbers in the foot. Away, his buddy blasts that stupid cunt point blank in the face. Don’t you just hate when people try to play hero!?

So the thieves get away and high tail towards an old abandon factory/laboratory on the outskirts of town. This is where they would meet with the big boss and drop of the goods to him and his boys. Things are going cool until the chick getaway driver decides to start exploring the complex. Dum, dum. Dum! Guess what she comes across? Fucken Zombies! This place is the same factory/ laboratory used by the kook doctor that starts off the flick. The head zombie making the rounds is the naked gook chic. The flick kicks into overdrive at this point as the boss shows up with his boys, it’s an all out battle between the gangsters and the zombies. The zombie makeup is really well done, a definite Fulci inspiration along with the maggots. Check out the scene where one victim gets a giant splinter shoved through his, not eye, but neck. How about the gore and the violence you ask? It’s in there! Gun battles, zombie brain splatter, a disembowelment. Sorry no gut munching, but the Zombie 3 soundtrack is ripped off through out the film. This movie is a gory good time, the best thing to come from Japan in a long time alongside The Ring of course.  - Bill Connolly




Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Directed by George A. Romero

This is George A. Romero’s first in his great series of zombie flicks (true to his visions the man made zombie movies in 3 consecutive decades (‘60’s/70’s/’80’s)) This is the black & white classic which center’s on an abandoned (very recently, probably due to the zombie outbreak) country farm house where a couple different small groups of living people hole-up and try and battle their way out to help while keeping everyone within safe from zombie assault. Surprising amount of good gore in a movie so old! You get to see zombies eating meat off human bones, chewing on livers and playing with intestines. You get to see also a freshly zombified daughter within the house brutally stab her mother to death with a small gardening shovel - Great! I remember the first time I watched this being shocked at the surprise ending. True classic and a must see go rent/buy it now!!  – Dale Roy



Nightbreed (1990)

Directed by Clive Barker

Anyone remember this flick released right around the time Clive Barker started to become a household name? This one is based on his book Cabal (great book indeed and it was set right in the area I used to live in Canada! -Dale) which of course is better than the movie and different than the movie but the movie is pretty cool actually. Nightbreed has plenty of weird characters to deal with and they are almost all violent (a definite plus). The Nightbreed, while not zombies, enjoy devouring human flesh and really hate to be pissed off. They all live below ground under a old graveyard called Midian and they are the last of an ancient species of shape-shifters. Their lives are changed forever when their prophecies come true and a man named Boone walks into their lives. He also brings a clingy girlfriend and a serial killer doctor (played by renowned director David Cronenberg if I’m not mistaken!? - Dale) along so you can imagine the very off-the-wall content and conclusion of this movie. You have to really see it to understand it but you will not be disappointed. Hey, a guy even severs half of the skin off his head along with most of his hair (That’s gotta hurt) what more can you ask for?   - Jeffrey Kusbel